Our process can reduce evaporation losses from lakes and reservoirs by chilling the surface of the lake using cold water from deeper in the lake. If the water doesn't evaporate it can be used without reducing the amount of water flowing downstream or the lake level. This can benefit nearly every country in the world and can reduce water stress for billions of people world wide?
Government studies have demonstrated that a 1C (1.8F) reduction in surface temperature can reduce evaporation by approximately 2,900 gallons per acre per day. On some lakes it may be feasible to reduce the surface temperature by more than 1C which multiplies the available water saving.
Our approach uses solar power
and can be deployed as easily as simple as dropping a set of self
positioning buoys in the
lake. No chemicals, no pipe network, no electric bills and precious
little maintenance. Preliminary analysis indicates a cost between
$100 and $700 per acre foot saved which is far cheaper than trying to
replace the water with desalination.
indicates that 1% coverage will cost $2.2 million USD per 1 square
kilometer of reservoir surface area. With a 1C reduction in
surface temperature the system will reduce evaporation losses by
approximately 2.74 million liters per day when the surface water is
above 60F. Savings could be higher in very dry or very
tests will be conducted to determine necessary adjustments to
surface area coverage and pump volumes to fit local climates. At the
estimated cost levels the water saved will be less expensive than
replacing the same volume of water using desalination or
long distance pipelines such as the California Aqua-duct. The main
cost driver is the surface water temperature and the temperature
delta between surface water and deeper water in the same reservoir.
The USGS indicates 660,000 sq kilometers of reservoir surface area1 world wide which provides a maximum market of value of 1.36 trillion USD. The USGS also indicates 1.5 million sq kilometers of freshwater lakes Not all of these water bodies can use or benefit from the technology but a reasonable projection is over 5% of the available freshwater surface area.
Any water body that has a thermocouples layer (over 4 meters deep) are viable candidates. Water bodies with distinct summer versus summer seasons are the best candidates.
Water bodies like Lake Powell, Lake Mead and Lake Lanier which suffer from significant summer stratification are the best candidates because they can deliver a high degree of chilling per unit of pumping invested.
Areas where water shortages are current or looming within 10 years and where developing alternative water sources will cost more than $500 per acre foot are ideal.
P.S. Please blog or publish articles about Reduced Evaporation Losses, it helps spread the word.
Thanks Joe Ellsworth
CTO and principal engineer
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